9.28.14: Enchanted Objects, Regulating Robots, & Prison Gang Origins

Sep 26, 2014

The Glow Cap pill bottle lights up when it's time to take your medicine.
Credit glowcaps.com

In Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001 A Space Odyssey, fear of future technologies takes center stage in the form of Hal 9000, the sentient, yet sinister, computer in charge of spacecraft Discovery One.

On today’s show, an instructor at the MIT Media Lab envisions a brighter future, in which the interaction between humans and technology will be useful, and even playful.

Plus, we’ll take a closer look at prison gangs, their ability to maintain order behind bars and how they influence life on the outside.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.

Enchanted Objects

  •   Here's a video from the NY Times that shows off some of these enchanted objects.

Hillbilly Treasure Trove

  • You know the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, but for Nathan Salsberg, curator of the Alan Lomax archive, that statement became a literal truth.
  • This story was produced by Matt Frassica for The Organist. You can listen to it at PRX.org.

Robotics Commission

A Robotic Cure For Pesky Ticks

  • There’s a new robot that could help you clear your yard of nearly all the ticks. Invented by three professors at Virginia Military Institute, this device could help reduce the risk of tick-borne illness. Kelley Libbey has the story.
  • You can listen to the story at PRX.org.

Prison Gangs